Letter from Lafcadio Hearn to Horace Elisha Scudder
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- Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902, Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904, Correspondence, Abernethy Manuscripts Collection
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- 2016-02-10 16:56:09
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Notice change of address: permanent, this time, I hope. Shino yamate-dori Rokuchome 26 Kobe Dear Mr. Scudder: - I don't quite understand your letter about keeping what may not appear in the Atlantic for the next book. This would not mean, I suppose, that the papers appearing in the Atlantic would be excluded from the next book. Before October, the book will be finished. Whether Messrs. Houghton & Co. will approve it, or not, of course I don't know. I have sent you nine papers, and have three more in course of preparation. I can only say this, - that if Messrs. H. & Co., should not wish to publish the book before spring, the arrangement would be all right, - only as I hope to make a journey south, during the winter - to Manila or Riu Kiu, probably, - I should like to see the proof before going. This would not prevent you from using the sketches you might wish for in this meanwhile. As to sending some of the article elsewhere, I don't know what to say. Some editors mutilate outrageously, and some magazines illustrate absurdly. (Of course the Harpers I cannot bear to hear even mentioned.) Then it seems to me no small imposition to ask you to place anything for me - you must be a very busy man. Still if you think the publication of an accepted book would not be delayed beyond next spring, I think I might venture later on to accept your former offer on the subject - providing you can place an article or two where it will not be mutilated or fantastically illustrated, and where it will be well paid (though not to the Harpers, even for a thousand dollars a page.) My present situation may be no particular affair of yours; I mention it merely to explain circumstances. I have a number of people to support, no chance of employment - in Japan (except such as would render literary work impossible); and I am obliged to become a Japanese citizen in order to do what is right by my own people. I can live, at the present rate of exchange, by self-denial of a sort not stimulating to my profession, on about $600 to $700 a year. This I cannot get from the Atlantic. Therefore, to make ends meet I think it advisable that I should accept the newspaper syndicates' offer of $1,200 for the letters from the tropics south of here. With time and patience I suppose I shall be able to do better; but I must try now to do just what I can, and the voyage may pay. There has been a strong effort by the "unco guid" to run me out of the country; but it has not so far been successful. I wrote you a decidedly ugly letter the other day, because I felt and still feel ugly. I have never had any money to spend in big researches; it has been one constant struggle with sickness and bad sight and calumny here; - and that I should be blamed in the Atlantic for not doing what I never pretended to do, and find myself maliciously belittled when I never claimed to be more than a sketch-writer, and gave all my work to the magazine instead of to newspaper syndicates, - seems to me pretty rough treatment. But I am sure your sense of justice will secure me from any repetition of the same treatment. If my letter was too ill- natured, consider that the difficulties under which I labor are very trying to patience; - and a reproach for my incapacities in the Atlantic, from an outside anonymous pen, rather staggers me. If you wish to use the "New Civilization", perhaps this will reach you in time to suggest a slight modi- fication of the finale. I fear that I may seem to figure as an opponent of individualism altogether, - which I am not, being a student of Spencer. Its cultivation at a wrong time, and in minds childish compared with our own, may, however, be disastrous. I would pray you to make some such change as this: - My original sentence began: "Individuality, in this accepted sense of sel- fishness" - For this, I would substitute - "The cultivation of the individual - not for the specialization of the highest moral and mental capacities, combined, but for mental power alone, directed to selfish ends", etc - I remain, very truly yours Lafcadio Hearn Kobe, Aug 1st. 95. P.S. - I must add, on second thought, that I do not really care to write for another magazine, - unless I can get a very big price. The Syndicates pay much better. Perhaps you had better keep all. [this is a typed copy of the preceding pages] [continuating the typed copy of previous pages]
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